Baroness Barran appointed new charities minister

Baroness Diana Barran has been appointed as the new minister responsible for civil society, under Nicky Morgan's Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Barran, who has extensive experience in the charity sector, takes on the role after Mims Davies announced she was moving over to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Prior to joining the House of Lords, Barran was the chief executive of Safe Lives, a domestic abuse awareness charity. She also worked for think tank New Philanthropy Capital (NPC), prior to which she worked in asset management.

Her new role will focus on the civil society element of the DCMS portfolio, which is currently headed up by former education secretary, Nicky Morgan.

The previous charity minister, Mims Davies, held responsibility for both civil society and sport, which caused criticism among the sector after charity leaders claimed taking on responsibility for charities along with an area as large as sport was 'too much work' for one person.

However, the refreshed department consists of a minister for each element of the portfolio, taking away some of the pre-existing pressure on the civil society minister.

The DCMS team now consists of Morgan; Baroness Barran; Matt Warman, the new Minister for Digital and Broadband; Rebecca Pow, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism; Nigel Adams, Minister of State for Sport, Media and Creative Industries.

Commenting on the announcement, Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) chief executive, Sir John Low, said: “We’re delighted to have such a strong advocate for civil society, who has played a leading role in several charities taking the role of civil society minister.

“There is a great opportunity and a strong need to grow philanthropy, increase engagement with charities and bolster a revival in our communities.

“The Civil Society Strategy aims to make Britain a global centre for philanthropy. With the first anniversary of the strategy coming up next month there is an ideal opportunity to revitalise this work. A great starting point is to ask DCMS to stress to colleagues across Government the need to place charities at the forefront of their thinking.

“As always we stand ready to support the Minister in raising the profile of civil society across the UK.”

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